Imagine flying from Toyko to Paris in two and a half hours, or London to New York in just one. That’s what the hypersonic WaveRider jet will be able to do if it reaches its Mach 6 target of 4300mph.
The jet will fly at six times the speed of sound (768mph) at a height of 70,000ft. The project, an attempt to create a faster commercial jet after Concorde was decommissioned in 2003, has not yet reached its target speed after a failed attempt in June 2011.
The fastest jet tested was the Falcon Hypersonic Test Vehicle 2, which aimed to reach Mach 20 for 30 minutes – but self-destructed after 9 minutes for safety. Nice to know we’re getting closer, but don’t expect to see hypersonic jets commercialised until 2050 – when we’ll probably have teleporters anyway. We can but hope that the inflight menu will match Concorde's fare.
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